Disciplined Date Night: My Journey Through Parenthood

D is for Disciplined Date Night.

Birthday Date Night

I think it goes without saying that it takes a substantial amount of discipline to keep up on date night – especially with a new baby.  Mr. Sexy and I had a regular date night while dating which lasted into pregnancy with Denai.  Friday night date night.  But life happened and  then a baby happened and then it was Valentine’s Day, 2014.  I wanted Mr. Sexy to take me to dinner.  I didn’t care where.  I didn’t care how long the wait would be.  I just wanted out of the house in pretty clothes and makeup with no kids around.  He didn’t get the memo that going out was so important to me so when I realized he was making me a candlelit dinner while the kids watched movies downstairs, I cried.

I know how spoiled I sound.  I know how spoiled I am!

There is nothing wrong with an in home date night.  We have them all the time.  And that’s where I was frustrated.  I wanted a server to bring me a glass of wine.  I wanted to sit and hold hands with my husband while someone else cooked our meal.  I wanted to walk away after eating and let someone else do the dishes. (Not that I did any dishes on V-Day, I didn’t even want Mr. Sexy to have to do them.) V-Day ended up being an off night because I wasn’t able to communicate with my husband about my feelings.

Date night takes discipline and it’s important for us to make sure it happens.  Our date nights aren’t as regular as they used to be but we are working on it.

Speaking of discipline

Christmas, 2013

Disciplining my kids is a tiresome, never ending job. I mentioned on Day C that Michael throws tantrums at age 6.  I’m not sure if that’s normal but in our family, it is.  There are reasons for that.  His world is constantly in flux being shipped off between homes.  His dad doesn’t communicate with me well so it’s hard to make transitions smooth for Michael.  However, just because life sucks (like it does for everybody at one time or another) doesn’t mean he gets to behave however he wants.

We are very strict with both the kids for different reasons.  Michael likes to see what he can get away
with and is learning to be very manipulative – particularly with me.  Marie needs strict guidelines in large part because of her disability.  Disciplining her, for the most part, is pretty cut and dry.  She doesn’t currently throw huge fits or tantrums or even talk back.  Michael is a much different story.  He’s highly emotional and very sensitive.  He also seems to be becoming increasingly dependent – particularly on me.  Below are some of our techniques that we learned from Parenting with Love and Logic.

Deep breaths and counting: When he is too wound up I tell him to be still, take deep breaths and count to 5.  Oh my gosh.  This has become a wonderful tool.  Sometimes he finishes but his eyes are still red and puffy and his voice is still on the verge of a tantrum.  So I say, “again.”  He doesn’t always willingly comply which brings me to my next tool:

Choices: You can count to 5 and take deep breaths or you can quietly go to your room and take a nap.  Giving Michael the ability to make his own choices has been awesome.  Which veggie would you like to eat?  Carrots or broccoli?  Which consequence should you have?  A time out or a nap?  The trick is to make sure I give him choices that I can live with.  If a time-out isn’t a good enough consequence then that shouldn’t be an option for him to choose.

Push-Ups: This was a consequence he chose due to his consistently rude behavior.  Every time he was rude, no matter when or where, he gives 5 push-ups.  We don’t use this one as much these days.

There are so many unique ways to discipline.  I’m always open for new ideas!

This is the A-Z blogging challenge so go ahead and read the introduction and see a list of all my A-Z posts.

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8 thoughts on “Disciplined Date Night: My Journey Through Parenthood

  1. I know what you mean about going out instead of staying in. I get that making food and candle lit dinner is sweet and all, but sometimes we just want to GO OUT. We're always in, come on! The discipline thing is such a hard part of parenting. I don't think I'd try the push-up thing, even if it's just 5. I don't know, just seems a little odd. No judgment though- we're all doing the best we can. I do however LOVE the 5 breaths technique. I could even use that on myself!

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  2. Date night is something that we just started making a priority a couple of years ago, and I wish we had started earlier in our marriage. It's so important.

    Tantrums at 6 have been happening at my house for my last 2 small people. The older ones had outgrown them by 6, but the last 2 didn't. I like the 5 breaths technique a lot. We also do a lot of choice giving here.

    TaMara
    AJ's AtoZ wHooligan
    Tales of a Pee Dee Mama

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  3. I am in big favour of the child – if they are really having a hard time calming down or just incredibly rude and defiant – go to their room. I have received MUCH flack and negative looks for this. But to me — it's not the punishment, but rather a chance to let them calm down in privacy by removing them from the scene. I don't “lock them in the room” as one person said in disgust. whatever nosybusybody.
    Anyway, it also demonstrates that acting out like that does mean you will not be with the family. Yes, I see you are frustrated/angry/confused/sad and that is okay to feel that way. But! you do not get to treat the rest of us like crap because of that. You need to go to your room and find an appropriate way to speak with us about this. It's really just that simple. I don't even care if they are playing quietly while in there — just don't come back out with same attitude and there absolutely will be further conversations and consequences if necessary.
    The bonus part is it also gives ME a chance to calm down and think about it. Too much parenting can be reactionary – which I find is when I get into trouble myself.
    Also, good old fashioned lines! “I will not punch my sister ” 100 times? the classics still work. They HATE this one. The offense has never ever been repeated when this is applied.

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